In Spain it is taken daily

In Spain it is taken daily
In Spain it is taken daily

The feeding and the healthy living habits are essential for preventing cancer, and in particular prostate cancer in men. The World Health Organization predicts that the prevalence of the disease will continue to increase until 2050. Today, it accounts for 7.3% of new cases of cancer worldwide each year, equivalent to 1.5 million.

Among the risk factors described by specialists are age – the incidence increases after 50 -, family history and, as we mentioned, the quality of the diet. In this regard, Dr. William Li, a Harvard-trained physician and cardiovascular biologist, warns very clearly about which foods to avoid at all costs: well-done red meats and the smoked sausages like bacon, due to its high saturated fat content.

Red and processed meats carry the greatest carcinogenic risk, Li notes according to WHO recommendations, but there is one variety particularly to avoid. “When meats are prepared at high temperatures, such as grilling or smoking, a compound is produced, the heterocyclic amines (HCA)”. The more toasted and crispy the fat is, the specialist points out, the higher the concentration of this carcinogen will be.

Both HCAs and AGEs (advanced glycation end products) They are produced by what is known as Maillard reactiona chemical process that increases with heat. Thus, a lightly browned bacon It only contains 10% of the HCAs of deep-fried bacon, and if it’s microwaved, the AGE levels will be much lower. However, Li is in favour of avoiding these meats as much as possible. “They are clearly associated with an increased risk of cancer.”

In contrast, the doctor and popularizer speaks of the ‘epiphany’ that society is experiencing with respect to the need for replace meat for more sources of vegetable protein. However, in Spain it is common take it daily: el Food Consumption Report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) pointed out that Spanish households consumed more than 2.3 billion kilos of meat in 2020.

Instead, Li recommends plant-based sources of protein and heart-healthy fats such as legumes -specifically, soybeans- and the nutsHe cites a study carried out with 47,000 participants who consumed a small amount of nuts – a third of a cup of coffee, five times a week. reduced the risk of dying from cancer by 34%“We knew it was effective against breast cancer, but now we have evidence that it is also effective against prostate cancer,” he explained.

As for soy, Li considers it especially beneficial for preventing cancer due to the bioactive compounds it contains and that “weaken the tumor microenvironment“, facilitating oncological treatments. He cites studies carried out in China with consumers of tofu – which is made as an alternative to meat with pressed and coagulated soy – and soy milk, in which an “impressive” reduction in the incidence of prostate tumors was observed. and 40-70%.

Other foods recommended by the expert are: citrus like the orange and the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. “One hundred grams of citrus fruits a day have been linked to a 12% decrease in the risk of prostate cancer,” he explains. And “a cup” of broccoli a week would also help in the treatment of the tumour, since it has been linked, according to the expert, to a “lower spread” of the disease.

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